Get Your Family to Eat Venison - Make Perfect Jerky

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This is how you get your family to eat venison.
Whether it is a case of your kids just don’t like any venison or that you harvested a tough old buck with adrenaline pumping through him at the peak of rut and found that the venison just didn’t taste good.  This is how you can make jerky that everyone will actually ENJOY without any special equipment.

A humane kill as quickly as possible is the best start, and then keep your game as clean as possible. Try to avoid letting any of the stomach, bladder, or intestine contents come in contact with the meat.  Wash off any dirt as soon as possible and chill the carcass as fast as you can. 

Remove all the fat you can during the butchering process or when you take the meat from the freezer for making it into jerky.  When the venison is semi-frozen slice it as thin as you can with a knife or about an eighth of an inch thick on a slicer.

Dump the slices into a Tupper-ware type container and cover it with soy sauce, garlic salt, black pepper and enough hot sauce to get it to the point of spiciness that you want. Just guess at what will taste good for the first batch.  This is so easy that you will make it again and adjust the recipe to perfection.  Let it soak at least an hour but preferably over night in the fridge.

Then Spread it on wire racks (ideally) or just lay it on cookie sheets if you don’t have wire racks.  If you have wire racks put a baking sheet under them to catch the drips.  If you don’t have a baking sheet you can get by with aluminum foil but it is harder to work with.  But it is worth making every effort to keep your wife’s oven clean!  Put the slices on the racks or sheets so that they do not touch each other and put it on the center oven rack.

Set the oven to 250F for 30 minutes. 

If you cook water out of the venison you can pour it off the cookie sheet or just let it back off (but that makes the pan harder to clean).

After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to ‘warm’ (about 200F) and let it cool with the jerky in the oven until it is as chewy or brittle as you desire.  I usually take out the thin pieces and put the thick ones back in to dry a little longer.

THAT'S IT!  You will have jerky in an hour or so.  No multi-day drying sessions.  Try it warm.  Let it cool and try it cool.  If it isn’t hot enough add spices to the uncooked portion.  If too spicy or too salty just rinse the slices before drying the next batch.  Within a couple of tries you will have jerky that your friends and family beg you to make!


Deer Slayer's picture

Thanks for the tip. My

Thanks for the tip. My brother will be coming home from Afghanistan and I know he loves deer jerky. We still have about 15 pounds of jerky strips in the freezer so we will have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. I have a

Great tip. I have a dehydrator and use it to make our jerky. Yes, when I make it the household goes crazy and there are practically fights breaking out over the jerky. That seems like it would be done pretty fast that way. I know in my dehydrator it can take the better part of a day to get to the desired dryness. Maybe I will try it in the oven once and see how it does.

hunter25's picture

I have never made regular

I have never made regular jerky because my kids love the stuff my ex father in law makes. Carne aseca I guess you spell it. My in laws are latino and for the past 100 years or more the family just slices it thin salts it good and hangs it up to dry for a few days. I still drop off a couple of animals a year as my son will eat at least 2 of them himself.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I do alot of jerky at my

I do alot of jerky at my house too, however, my wife says it looks and tastes like dog food.  Don't know whether or not to take that as an insult or laugh. lol

I usually bring it to work if I have extra, or give it out to friends.  Truthfully though, I rarely have extra. Wink

Good tips.  Thanks for posting!

GooseHunter Jr's picture

You are making me very

You are making me very hungry!!  We make alot of jerky at our house as we cannot keep it around for very long.  My daughter who will not eat any wild game will eat a whole pound of jerky in no time flat.....go figure!

numbnutz's picture

my kids love jerky made out

my kids love jerky made out of venison. and also hamburger. my wife doesnt like it to much, but she doesnt know that i substute beef with elk all the and she seems to like it when she doesnt know. just dont tell her.

Tndeerhunter's picture


Sounds like an excellent recipe Mike. There is little doubt that the fella (or gal) that brings some jerky to the office to share soon becomes a popular person!...LOL! My other favorite is the snack sticks one of our butchers make for us. We pay off our Kentucky "lease" by supplying the owner and his Buddies with breakfast sausage, snack sticks and jerky for them to eat as they hunt waterfowl.

groovy mike's picture

it's true

It's true.  I now get nagged to make jerky!

That's a far cry from no one in the house wanting venison!

I give it as gifts to my inlaws and they fight over it. I eventually had to start giving them each their own bag!

I also give it as gifts to land owners who allow me access on to their property to hunt.

I'm thinking about branching out into breakfast sausage this year too.....

jaybe's picture

Another Option

I am not a paid advertiser, nor a professional spokesman, but I would like to add another option for making perfect jerky every time.

  High Mountain Seasonings make a jerky mix that comes out perfect every time you make it (according to instructions, of course).

  The package contains a bag of cure, which provides what is necessary to prevent the meat from spoilage once you are through with the process.

  Tha package of seasoning mostly adds flavor.

  It comes in Original, Hickory and Mesquite - and perhaps others.

  The process involved is very similar to what the author of this tip stated, except it gives precise measurements of cure and seasoning to use per pound of meat.

  This jerky mix can be found in many grocery stores and places like Gander Mountain, or can be ordered online.

  I just made a couple of pounds myself for our kids and grandkids that are coming for Christmas.

  I'm pretty sure it won't last very long.

  Thanks for the tip!


gjk5's picture

I have also used the

I have also used the Hi-Country with both whole muscle and ground elk, muley and nilgai.  It does make a very consistent product and the snack sticks are unreal, especially after smoked over peach wood.  I add red pepper flakes and Sriracha hot sauce usually.

groovy mike's picture

Thanks :)

Thanks for the tip guys.  When I run out of the spices I have on hand I’ll have to look them up!